There were plenty of excited faces as All Hands Volunteers’ Satellite Samar team turned up at Calampong, a remote fishing community left badly damaged by Typhoon Hagupit last month, to spend a day playing games with the village’s children.
The volunteer founded and led program known as Project Sunshine has been successfully running in communities built and supported by the All Hands since last August. Volunteer María Fernanda Romero, 26, proposed taking the much loved project to Calampong, where the Satellite Samar team have been busy helping repair boats, fishing nets, and saving buildings damaged by the typhoon.
“The idea came about when we were volunteering in Calampong because I realized there was little for the kids to do there.” said Maria, “They had no electricity, no money and were almost cut off so they couldn’t do much. They would follow the volunteers everywhere and say, ‘let’s play a game,’ but we had work to do and couldn’t give them the time they wanted. That’s when I decided to ask about taking Project Sunshine there.”
It was an idea and decision that would prove vindicated as kids of all ages embraced the opportunity to join the volunteers in playing ball games, bingo and planting seeds to replace the vegetable gardens left damaged by the typhoon.
The importance of helping the children was not lost upon Rosalie Tablada, a mother of three who is struggling to get by after Typhoon Hagupit (locally known as Ruby) destroyed her husband’s fishing boat and nets. Mrs Tablada, 30, said: “We appreciate, admire, and adore you guys. Nobody else has done anything like this with the kids. You just don’t know how much you make the kids happy. After what they’ve been through with [Super Typhoon] Yolanda and Ruby it’s such a good thing they are so happy now.”
The Satellite Samar Team are continuing to work in Calampong, rebuilding and painting fishing boats with the locals as they aim to help the community get back on its feet.